— DANVILLE – Brewing is Larry DeGreen’s passion.
Over the last four years, the owner and head brewer of Purple Healer Brewing has created 17 different beer recipes, ranging from stouts to IPAs to Purple Healer’s award-winning Ripanator doppelbock.
“It’s been an ongoing process over four years,” said DeGreen, a Bloomsburg resident, who founded Purple Healer in 2010 in the basement of his father’s Danville home. The zoning laws in Danville made starting the brewery there more practical than in Bloomsburg, DeGreen said.
The Ripanator was the first beer created by Purple Healer, described by DeGreen as “a hearty, malty beer.” It went on to win the “People’s Choice” award at the 2011 “Taming of the Brew” competition in Bloomsburg.
DeGreen returned for the 2012 Taming of the Brew with a new beer, the fruit-flavored Purple Possum, and again won the People’s Choice award. The plaques for both of those awards currently hang in his basement workshop.
DeGreen has participated in the Taming of the Brew for 2013 and 2014 as well. Though he didn’t take home any additional People’s Choice awards, his beers were still very popular. “Our kegs were practically empty” by the end of the event, he said
DeGreen can also brew a custom beer if a customer tells him the style of beer they want. He can also supply drinks for events ranging from a backyard party to a corporate Christmas celebrating.
“Writing the recipes is the most fulfilling part in my opinion,” DeGreen said. Putting the different ingredients together and creating a finished product is not only the most challenging part of the process but also the most fun, he said.
Among the ingredients used are a variety of specialty malts that add various flavors to the beer. Some give them a smoky flavor, others a lighter wheat flavor and one even adds a caramel candy taste to the beer.